Global demand for wine packaging including containers, closures, and accessories is projected to increase 2.3 per cent per year to US$22.8 billion in 2020.
Glass bottles have long been the preferred wine container. They have excellent barrier properties and can protect wine nearly indefinitely. Glass bottles are considered by many to be an essential part of the wine experience. As a result, glass continues to dominate the container segment, accounting for about 85 per cent of the global total in 2015.
The industry is under pressure however. Glass bottles are heavy, adding to shipping costs. Wine produced globally is consumed not long after production. While many consumers might prefer bottles, they are not always necessary. These factors have led to a rise in alternative packaging, including bag-in-box containers, aseptic cartons, plastic bottles, cans, and cups.
Europe will continue to be the largest regional wine packaging market for the foreseeable future, while North America and the Asia/Pacific region will offer better growth opportunities through 2020. China has become one of the largest producers and consumers of wine, although consumption rates remain very low by global standards. Australia and New Zealand are the other major wine packaging markets in the region.
Australia illustrates the duality of the wine packaging market in countries where much of the wine produced is exported. Wine for the country’s domestic market is often in bag-in-box containers, which dominate young wines sold at lower prices. While glass bottles are still widely used, they are usually sealed with a screw cap instead of a cork.
Shipping wine is expensive, made more so by its packaging. This has led to a move to lighter weight containers. This includes lighter glass bottles, but it has also increased the appeal of shipping wine in bulk. A number of major wine producing countries including Spain, Chile, South Africa, and Australia, ship a considerable share of the wine they export in bulk. As the wine is packaged in or near the country of consumption, it has led to a significant shift in the packaging used. Wine packaging markets in some countries, such as Chile and South Africa, are small relative to their production levels.
These and other trends are presented in World Wine Packaging: Containers, Closures & Accessories, a new study from The Freedonia Group.